Unknown Enid Blyton story found


An unpublished manuscript by children's author Enid Blyton is believed to have been discovered

An unpublished novel by Enid Blyton is believed to have been discovered in an archive of the late children’s author’s work.

Mr Tumpy’s Caravan, an 180-page fantasy story thought to have been unknown previously, was found among a collection of manuscripts auctioned in September.

The Seven Stories children’s book centre in Newcastle paid around £40,000 for the haul, which included Malory Towers and Secret Seven books.

Archivist Hannah Green then discovered the unpublished work, which follows the adventures of a caravan with feet and mind of its own.

A spokeswoman for the centre said: “It’s really exciting. It’s not a short story. It’s around 200 A4 pages, all written with a typewriter. It’s a very clean manuscript with no spelling mistakes.”

The manuscript was initially believed to be a version of a picture book called Mr Tumpy and His Caravan, which was compiled using comic strips, but the Enid Blyton Society confirmed it appeared to be a completely different book.

Imogen Smallwood, Blyton’s youngest daughter, told BBC News: “It’s a whole book, written with words, about a completely different Mr Tumpy and indeed a completely different caravan.

“There’s always excitement when an unknown typescript is found of anybody’s who is well known. Because this wasn’t even known about, it has to rank quite high.”

The typescript is not dated but carries the address Old Thatch, Bourne End, Buckinghamshire, where Blyton lived until 1938. The collection of original typescripts was auctioned following the death of Blyton’s eldest daughter, Gillian Baverstock, in 2007.

Seven Stories, which aims to save and celebrate great British children’s works, plans to hold an Enid Blyton exhibition in 2014.

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